June 23, 2008

Nguyên Lê - Three Trios

Nguyên Lê is amazing. His guitar work is unique, inspiring, technically challenging, fired with soul, jazzy, rocking, and drips of fusion yet goes even further. You will hear world music (far-Eastern/Southeast Asian) scales and note treatments in attack, vibrato, and bends. Lê is of Vietnamese heritage but knows full well the world of jazz and rock.
He can play light-hearted, crystalline-clear tones, dreamy chordal sustains, wielding an endless barrage of effects and suddenly flat-out scream and wail like a banshee as if Ninja warriors had invaded the studio. I have never heard anything quite like him. I was deeply impressed first listen to this release. This is a guitarists’ guitarist kind of CD. Every jazz musician and fusion musician needs to hear this magic.
For references sake, I suppose you can hear echoes of Bill Frisell, Terje Rypdal, Steve Kahn( Blades era), Wayne Johnson, Kazumi Watanabe, and even Steve Tibbetts but . . . Lê is standing all alone in his total sound and delivery. My adored track was “La Parfum” for its simple elegance, beauty, and its power to transport me into bliss . . .
If you want the crunch go straight to his fiery boogie on “Straight No Chaser” and then sample the very fusiony “Dance of the Comet”. But really this is CD to be experienced in totality. You will discover sounds and feelings you will thrill to if you love great guitar-driven jazz. Highest of recommendations!!!
John W. Patterson"All about Jazz")
Part1 & Part2

Line Up:
Nguyên Lê - el. & electroacoustic guitars, guitar-synth and E-bow
Marc Johnson - acoustic bass
Peter Erskine - drums
Dieter Ilg - acoustic bass
Danny Gottlieb - drums
Renaud Garcia-Fons - acoustic bass
Mino Cinelu - drums, percussions
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June 19, 2008

Ali Farka Toure & Ry Cooder

Talking Timbuktu

Talking Timbuktu is a groundbreaking record that vividly illustrates the Africa-Blues connection in real time. Ali Farka Toure, one of Mali's leading singer-guitarists, has a trance-like, bluesy style that, although deeply rooted in Malian tradition, bears astonishing similarity to that of John Lee Hooker or even Canned Heat. It's a mono-chordal vamp, with repetitive song lines cut with shards of blistering solo runs that shimmer like a desert mirage. Toure may be conversant with some blues artists, but it is unlikely that artists like Hooker or Robert Pete Williams ever heard these Malian roots, which makes the connection so uncanny. Ry Cooder, well versed in domestic and world guitar styles, is the perfect counterpoint in these extended songs/jams, his sinewy slide guitar intertwining with his partner's in a super world summit without barriers or borders.(Derek Rath)

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June 16, 2008

Bonnie Raitt - Fundamental

Bonnie Raitt's marvelous voice, saucy grooves, and singing slide guitar are this album's fundamentals. But these 11 love songs are more than a back-to-basics exercise. Coproducers Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake help Raitt create the edgiest arrangements she's ever had. Which explains the dry, in-your-face vocal sound of "Round and Round" and the near-naked framing of the best guitar solos, like Los Lobos' David Hidalgo's probing Jimmie Vaughan masquerade on "Cure for Love." Raitt herself plays a rippling African-style melody line on "One Belief Away." And the jittery guitar break and pumping piano on "I Need Love" threaten to knock the tune's tonal center to pieces. Her lyrics are crafty, too, whether she's calling down the furies as she opts for another spin on the flaming "Spit of Love" or feeling romance tug like quicksand in "Cure for Love." A little weird, maybe, but commanding, wise, real, and beautiful. (Ted Drozdowski)

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June 15, 2008

Eberhard Weber - Little Movements

Recorded 1980. At the time Weber's Colours group was one of the most highly-acclaimed bands on the international touring circuit. Colours combined a sense of jazz history (personified by ex-Charles Mingus saxophonist Charlie Mariano) with an awareness of the pattern-pulses of the minimalist composers (emphasised in Weber's writing for Brüninghaus's synthesizers) and the energy of jazz-rock (drummer Marshall had played with Soft Machine and Jack Bruce).

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June 12, 2008

Lars Danielsson & Leszek Mozdzer

Veteran Swedish bassist/composer Lars Danielsson aligns with blossoming young Polish pianist Leszek Mozdzer for an affair that pronounces a sense of intimacy as an additional vehicle for vast expressionism. Glisteningly recorded at a Swedish studio, you can discern every detail and nuance throughout. Consisting of lovely melodies performed with a soft touch, the duo frequently engages in rapid unison choruses amid some movements that touch upon classical concerto elements. At times somber, the artists also generate peppery themes, often spiced with subtle overtones and flailing crescendos. As they integrate depth and finesse into these works spanning folk-drenched dirges, lullabies, and intricately resolved jazz motifs.
On the title track, Danielsson generates a soft rhythmic element by tapping his bass strings in support of Mozdzer�s buoyant voicings. And with the piece titled �It�s Easy With You,� Danielsson uses his cello as a sweetening agent for his partner�s nimble progressions. One of the highlights of this disc pertains to the musicians� ability to perform within, and maintain a level-playing field. The intuitiveness they generate along with the overriding aura of these works presents a colorific set of ideas and enactments. In sum, they seem to have attained a deep-rooted comprehension of each other�s traits and stylizations; not to mention a deeply focused mode of execution that offers a mark of distinction. Musical personalities contract, expand and become magnetized during the preponderance of this irrefutably satisfying endeavor.
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June 9, 2008

Nublu Orchestra Conducted by Butch Morris

A club, record label, band and movement all-in-one, the Nublu Orchestra is committed to developing and creating new sounds and music. The Lower East Side institution is comprised of talented musicians from jazz, funk, pop, fusion, Brazilian, R&B and classical genres, "but the music we make is none of these," comments Butch Morris, conductor of the Nublu Orchestra.
On the recently released self-titled album, Morris conducts band members from Wax Poetic, Love Trio, Kudu, Brazilian Girls and others, using signals of his own invention to relay real-time arrangements and compositions. The methodology unites musicians in their playing regardless of their technical, stylistic or cultural differences. The result is a free-form combination of avant-garde jazz, folk, funk and techno forming an improvisational hypnotic sound.
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June 5, 2008

Jonas Hellborg - The Word

A wild improviser, bassist Jonas Hellborg leans more toward rock than jazz. Drawing inspiration from Jimi Hendrix, Arabic music, and Lifetime, Hellborg began playing professionally in the mid-'80s. After some session work (including Pil's Album, Ginger Baker's Middle Passage and John McLaughlin), he released The Word on Axiom in 1991. The album features Hellborg's acoustic bass, drums and a string quartet. He remained highly prolific throughout the decade, recording most prominently for the Day Eight label.
(All Music Guide)
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June 2, 2008

Renaud Garcia-Fons - Navigatore

The most amazing double bass player of our times, Renaud Garcia-Fons is known for his overwhelming virtuosity, his Mediterranean melodic sense and his viola-like con-arco sound. A student of the legendary Syrian bassist François Rabbath, Garcia-Fons is not only influenced by jazz and classical music, but also by flamenco, new musette, tango, Bretonian, Andalusian, African, Latin American, Arabic and Indian traditions. His unique artistry led to many exciting and successful collaborations with other open-minded players like Rabih Abou-Khalil, Michael Riessler, Dhafer Youssef, Nguyên Lê, Gérard Marais, Pedro Soler and Michel Godard.In the tradition of his visionary album "Oriental Bass" of 1997, Garcia-Fons' joyful east-western synthesis comes to a climax on "Navigatore" that features 22 different players in a string of powerful original compositions. An epic and compelling ensemble music, "Navigatore" displays a wide spectrum of moods and grooves using even Spanish, Bretonian, Arabic and Indian instruments. Says Garcia-Fons: "Each composition tells a story - the story of a life, a round trip - somehow as if we would pass successively through several existences in time and place. In the sequence of these 12 compositions I have tried to evoke memories of imaginary lives which happened in the orient and the occident, yesterday and before yesterday. The double bass personifies a voice with different shadings - a voice of a being in transition.
Part1 & Part2

Chris Hayward flutes
Yves Favre trombone
Jean-Louis Matinier accordion
Kudsi Erguner ney
Karim Ziad gumbri
Rabah Khalfa derbouka, carcabas
Bruno Caillat tablas, dâf
Patrice Héral drums
Pierre Hamon bagpipes, recorder
Françoise Couvert violin
Franck Pichon violin
Bruno Sansalone clarinet
Laurent Malet fluegelhorn
Claire Antonini lute, târ, saz a. m.
Hakan Gungor kanoun
Dahmane Khalfa carcabas, tbel a. m.
Adel Shams El Dine rek
Jorge Trasante drums, bombo a. m.
Franck Tortiller marimba, gongs a.m.
Antonio Ruiz "Kiko" flamenco guitar
Philippe Couvert violin
Renaud Garcia-Fons 5-string bass

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